The President of Benin Republic, Mr. Patrice Talon has signed an agreement on Tuesday to take back from France 26 artworks stolen by the former French colony in the 19th century, as hopes it would create a strong cultural affinity for the country.
The 26 treasures were stolen in 1892 from Benin’s Palaces of Abomey – today a UNESCO World Heritage site, and they will now be returned today as Mr. Talon makes his way back with them to Cotonou, landing by 4:00 pm local time.
“You will agree with me that the restitution of 26 artworks we are celebrating today is only a step in the ambitious process of equity and of restitution of heritage extorted from the territory of the Benin kingdom by France,” Talon said, speaking to French President Emmanuel Macron after a signing ceremony at the Elysee Palace.
This is a milestone in the years-long fight by African countries to recover works stolen by the Colonialists and many of them are still not willing to return several thousand of treasures stolen from Africa as at today where they are still making huge amount of money from them without any form of compensation especially in the case of United Kingdom and other ones.
In France alone , the Quai Branly Museum in Paris alone holds more than 70,000 African treasures out of mere 26 pieces are being returned to Benin Republic .
You will recall that President Macron had promised to return back some of the stolen works since 2017 and hopefully this will be the beginning of more of the treasures to be returned back to their various homestead across Africa.